Archive for the 'ECOSOC' Category

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UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC): 2013 Elections

On Wednesday, October 30, the UN General Assembly will elect 18 members to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) according to geographical representation. (Four new members from the Western Group will rotate into the Council without elections, while another 14 will be elected to fill 18 seats total).

AFRICA (14 seats total: 4 candidates, 4 outgoing, 10 remaining)

UN on auto-pilot against Israel

As US Secretary John Kerry is trying to jump-start peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, the UN reverted to its old mode of issuing one-sided anti-Israel resolutions.

Today’s meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the UN’s primary bodies, adopted a resolution on “Situation of and Assistance to Palestinian Women.” Like last week, the US and Canada voted no on the resolution. The Europeans, Japan and South Korea decided to abstain on this draft.

The Palestinian delegate did not resist from making inflammatory remarks. He blamed all the suffering of Palestinian women on “Israel’s brutal military occupation,” and went on to allege that “Israel commits racism, apartheid, torture, seizure and separation of families.”

UN Resolution Mentions Syria 15 Times – to Condemn Israel

The UN’s Economic and Social Council today adopted a resolution on human rights and humanitarian law that mentioned Syria 15 times. Except that Syria’s government was nowhere mentioned or criticized. The resolution was against Israel.

A review of the resolutions list of ECOSOC’s current 2013 annual session shows that Israel was the only country in the world to be the object of a condemnatory resolution — gross abusers like Syria, North Korea, Iran, Egypt, China, Russia, Cuba and Saudi Arabia were all given a free pass . (The only other resolution focused on a specific country concerned Haiti, but this was a non-critical text about foreign aid co-sponsored by Haiti itself.)

Only the US and Canada opposed the resolution, which was adopted 43 to 2, with 1 abstention (Haiti).

In his speech before the vote, the Palestinian delegate alleged “racism and colonization,” saying that “occupation is the ugliest form of racism and terrorism,” and “the State of Israel is a state of terror, settlers are terror, military are terror.”

Syria for its part accused Israel of “stealing historical artifacts to lie about [the] history” of the Golan, and “imposing Hebrew on students.”

Sadly, ECOSOC’s session was once again counter-productive, pushing the parties further apart instead of bridging their differences, damaging the UN’s credibility, and making it party to the conflict instead of a neutral mediator.

Scandal: Genocidal Sudan chaired UN human rights session

July 5-9, 2013: Sudanese Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman chaired meetings of the UN Economic and Social Council, including on human rights. (UN Photo)

Despite its leader being indicted for racist genocide, Sudan over the past week chaired meetings of a top UN body that oversees human rights commissions.

As a Vice-President of the UN Economic and Social Council, Sudanese Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman was in Geneva to chair the “coordination segment” of ECOSOC’s annual session, including a panel debate on “Using Human Rights instruments and ILO standards and recommendations to achieve decent work for all.” Continue reading ‘Scandal: Genocidal Sudan chaired UN human rights session’

Outrage over UN’s Sudan election discredits prior apologetics

Néstor Osorio, president of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), has informed delegations that Sudan — whose leader is wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Court — would chair the humanitarian affairs segment of its annual session. A sharp protest by Canada, the US, and the EU has now sparked further consultations. Click here for details.

The welcome new outrage by Western diplomats over the UN’s legitimizing of Sudan discredits earlier attempts by several UN players to minimize Khartoum’s political victory.

When UN Watch first protested Sudan’s November election to ECOSOC, Human Rights Watch’s Peggy Hicks — in a bizarre move for a human rights activist  clearly opposed to genocide in Darfur — rushed to Twitter to downplay the move.

Hicks, herself a former UN human rights official, sought to stem outrage over Sudan’s election by challenging UN Watch’s description of ECOSOC as a top UN body dealing with human rights. Continue reading ‘Outrage over UN’s Sudan election discredits prior apologetics’

UN: Sudan to Chair ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs

When Sudan was elected at the end of January as Vice-President of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), UN Watch, together with film star Mia Farrow rightly objected.

ECOSOC is a top U.N. body that regulated human rights groups, shapes the composition of key U.N. women’s rights bodies, and adopts resolutions on subjects ranging from Internet freedom to female genital mutilation. Genocidal Sudan, therefore, seemed a highly inappropriate choice.

Yet UN Watch’s calls to condemn this appointment fell on deaf ears, with neither UN chief Ban Ki-moon nor human rights commissioner Navi Pillay making a statement against this absurdity.

Last week, however, Sudan’s appointment became even more outrageous when ECOSOC President Néstor Osorio of Columbia informed delegations that Sudan would be chairing the humanitarian affairs segment of the Council’s work.

Continue reading ‘UN: Sudan to Chair ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs’

ECOSOC Focus on Youth While Appointing Children’s Rights Abuser Sudan as Vice President

Yesterday the U.N elected Sudan as vice-president of its 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), a top U.N. body that regulates human rights groups, shapes the composition of key U.N. women’s rights bodies, and adopts resolutions on subjects ranging from Internet freedom to female genital mutilation. UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, together with Mia Farrow have already spoken out against this absurdity.

Not only is it preposterous that genocidal Sudan will oversee the work of various UN human rights commissions — including the Commission on the Status of Women — but Sudan is an extremely unsuitable candidate for the direct work of ECOSOC itself.

Continue reading ‘ECOSOC Focus on Youth While Appointing Children’s Rights Abuser Sudan as Vice President’

Mia Farrow Condemns U.N. Election of Genocidal Sudan as Vice-President of Top Human Rights Body

Mia Farrow, the film star and human rights activist, today condemned the U.N.’s election of Sudan as vice-president of its 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), a top U.N. body that regulates human rights groups, shapes the composition of key U.N. women’s rights bodies, and adopts resolutions on subjects ranging from Internet freedom to female genital mutilation.

The UN’s election of Sudan took place yesterday: click here for UN announcement.

“The election of Sudan as vice-president of this influential U.N. council is incomprehensible and unacceptable,” said Farrow, who last year headed a protest campaign, organized by UN Watch and 30 other human rights groups, that helped pressure Sudan to withdraw its candidacy for another body, the UN Human Rights Council.

“Sudanese president Al Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan,” said Farrow. “President Al Bashir and his regime are orchestrating a campaign of ethnic cleansing in Sudan’s border regions, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile, where some 700,000 civilians face starvation and are denied access to humanitarian aid because of incessant aerial bombardments.”

“It’s an outrage,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, the Geneva-based non-governmental human rights group.

“Electing genocidal Sudan as leader of a global human rights body is like choosing Jack the Ripper to guard a women’s shelter,” said Neuer.

Continue reading ‘Mia Farrow Condemns U.N. Election of Genocidal Sudan as Vice-President of Top Human Rights Body’

Syrians slaughtered, but U.N. too busy condemning Israel 3 times

As Syrians continue to be slaughtered, the U.N. is once again too busy condemning Israel to respond to those pleading for help in Aleppo and elsewhere.

The world body’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the principal organ under the U.N. Charter tasked with addressing human rights and fundamental freedoms, has just concluded its annual session by turning a blind eye to the ongoing massacres by the Assad regime. Instead,  a list of all its resolutions for the entire world shows that ECOSOC condemned only one single country: Israel. Two resolutions were adopted against Israel, and one report.

Continue reading ‘Syrians slaughtered, but U.N. too busy condemning Israel 3 times’

U.N. Hypocrisy: Syria accuses Israel of violating freedom of the press

During a meeting today of the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in Geneva, the United States called a report on Palestinians unbalanced, and described it as part of a ritual at the U.N. to demonize Israel.

That ritual was in full form today when the government of Syria, the Baathist tyranny of Bashir al-Assad, accused Israel of being the world’s only country refusing to abide by international law, in a manner unseen since apartheid South Africa. The Syrian representative said that Israel arrested dissenting journalists, and he lamented “double standards” on Israel.

Whatever Israel’s flaws, Freedom House’s annual survey shows that freedom of speech and freedom of the press find far greater protection there than in any other country in the Middle East.

Syria should be the last one to throw stones on this issue. It regularly arrests and detains its political opponents without fair trial, including bloggers, political analysts, and human rights activists. Pro-democracy activist Kamal Labwani continues to languish in a Syrian prison, serving his third of a 12-year term, despite the recent call for his release by Human Rights Watch in April. The U.N. found his arrest “arbitrary and thus unlawful.”

U.N. Denies Status to Christian Charity After China Objects

GENEVA, July 27, 2009 - UN Watch, the Geneva-based human rights monitoring group, condemned the U.N.’s decision today to reject an international Christian charity as a non-governmental organization (NGO), a form of observer status, after it refused Beijing demands to disclose the addresses of its Chinese members, and “concerns” by Russia, Egypt, Cuba, Pakistan, and Sudan about its “ability to contribute” to the world body. Continue reading ‘U.N. Denies Status to Christian Charity After China Objects’